Weekly Reading Round-Up

I’m in that twitchy stage of just-before-book-launch where I can’t quite settle to anything– so even though I have a pile of new books I would usually be raring to read, I finally gave up and resorted to one of my favorite old comfort reads.

That comfort read would be Elsie Lee’s The Spy at the Villa Miranda, 1960s romantic suspense in which our heroine goes on vacation after a nasty divorce, finds herself swept up in international espionage (as one does), and, of course, totally sorts everyone and everything out (also as one does if one is an Elsie Lee heroine).

I hadn’t done this on purpose, but it was actually a highly appropriate read for Band of Sisters launch week: the heroine is a Mt. Holyoke grad who takes a job as traveling companion to a retired Radcliffe professor, so there’s a lot of Seven Sisters in there.  And I had never realized before just how much those Elsie Lee heroines are in the mold of the women of the Smith College Relief Unit: capable of turning their hands to anything and solving any problem in any sorts of circumstances (while quipping madly).

This is my vintage 80s copy, purchased at the school book fair circa 1988.  Isn’t it a wonderfully awful cover?  Also deeply unrepresentative of the content.  But I love it because I’ve had it forever.

Once I’ve soothed myself with Elsie Lee, I have a few ARCs I’ve been looking forward to reading, a new Trisha Ashley, a new Jodi Taylor, and, of course, The Masque of the Black Tulip for the March installment of the Pink Carnation Read Along, so the real issue will be which to read first!

What have you been reading this week?


  1. Ssheila Churchill on February 26, 2021 at 6:04 pm

    Glad to see you are still enjoying Jodi Taylor. I also am crazy about her Frogmrton Farm bo


  2. DJL on February 26, 2021 at 6:33 pm

    Catching up on the C.S. Harris St Cyr mystery series, which I somehow fell six (6!) behind on. They are so good & consistent that it was like picking right back up with a group of old friends–Sebastian, Hero, Jarvis, Lord Hendin, etc. Finished When Falcons Fall and Where the Dead Lie this week, so now just 4 to go until caught up 🙂

  3. Elizabeth (AKA Miss Eliza) on February 27, 2021 at 6:20 pm

    Your school book fairs obviously had a far better book selection than mine did! It was mainly Clifford the Big Red Dog or Roald Dahl… but then again, Catholic School… I’m spending my weekend with Hen and Miles!

  4. Joan on February 28, 2021 at 2:00 pm

    I’m reading the 3rd in the Heathcliff Lennox series set in 1921 England (The Curse of Braeburn Castle). Then I will be reading the 4th in series which won’t be set in England but in the middle east (Death In Damascus).

  5. Joan on February 28, 2021 at 2:07 pm

    Lauren, I LOVE Elsie Lee. I started reading her books while in high school and still have all my old ratty paperbacks. Particularly liked Season Of Evil and The Governess.

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